Hunted: A Short Story by Brandon Tolin

Hunted: A Short Story by Brandon Tolin
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Shortly after the civil war a life weary and elderly hunter and trapper makes a fatal mistake during a hunting trip on the edge of civilization. The repercussions of this mistake will send the old man on a harrowing journey through an untamed wilderness where the elderly man begins to truly understand what fear can be as an unnatural legendary creature of folklore makes the hunter feel like the hunted.

Raise your hand if you think there’s something scary about being in the woods alone.
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Bernard’s biggest character flaw turned out to be something that could quickly spiral out of control in such a remote setting. I’ll leave it up to other readers to discover what that flaw was and why it was so dangerous. What I can say is that it was delightful to read about someone as complex and sometimes even a little exasperating as this protagonist. There were times when I wanted to gently shake him out of the terrible habits he’d created for himself after years of living on the fringe of society. In other scenes, I wondered about what his early life experiences were like and how they shaped his odd but unique personality. He had such a complicated relationship not only with himself but also with other people that it made me wonder if his biggest flaw was something he was born with or something he learned early in life. Finding an answer to that question wasn’t half as important as getting the opportunity to ponder it in the first place.

This short story contained numerous punctuation errors that I often found confusing and distracting. They were especially noticeable when it came to the author’s misuse of commas, although I noticed mistakes with several other types of punctuation marks as well. With another round or two of editing, this could have received a much higher rating from me as the storyline and character development themselves were well done.

The horror elements of the plot were scary and nicely written. Given the identity of the unnatural legendary creature of folklore mentioned in the blurb, I correctly assumed there would be some references to blood. Those scenes popped up a few times and were briefly graphic once or twice. I’m generally not a fan of gore, but I didn’t have a problem with them. They fit into the tone of the storyline nicely and were one of several techniques the author used to keep his audience on our toes.

Anyone who enjoys folklore or cryptozoology should check out Hunted: A Short Story.

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